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This article was published on September 10, 2012

Hitting the high notes: 27% of updates on Bubbly, aka ‘Twitter for voice’, are sung

Hitting the high notes: 27% of updates on Bubbly, aka ‘Twitter for voice’, are sung
Jon Russell
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Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

If you’re game for a song, Twitter may sound like an odd place to stretch your vocal chords but Bubbly — a ‘Twitter for voice’ type service — is proving to be a popular destination for aspiring singers in Asia to broadcast to the world.

Singapore-based Bubble Motion, the company behind Bubbly, which recently raised $5 million to increase its reach in Asia and push the service in the US, revealed to TNW that more than one in four updates are of users singing.

Twitter-like status updates are still popular and they make up half of all ‘bubbles’ from its 19 million users, 50 percent of which are active each month, according to CEO Tom Clayton. Word-only messages are particularly popular in India, where they account for 67 percent.

Japan is the biggest Bubbly market for singers (56 percent of all messages). However, when it comes to audio, it seems Japanese users are all about singing or nothing at all since other kinds of audio — which might include general voice updates, chatter from kids, music or more — make up just 6 percent of bubbles in the country.

Here’s a breakdown of overall usage and more specific details from four of the service’s key markets: Japan, India, Indonesia and the Philippines – click on the graph to enlarge it.

The service also links to Twitter and Facebook and, thanks to a new update to the app (Bubbly 2.0), users can take advantage of Facebook’s Open Graph to auto-post all Bubbly updates to the social network. The new version also offers single sign-on using Twitter and Facebook for the first time.

Most notably, Bubbly 2.0 includes an interesting voice filter feature. This lets users post recordings with one of 12 ‘voice filters’: Noise Reducer, Boost It, Synth, On Stage, Grab a Mic, Witch, Villain, Helium, Echo Chamber, Sci Fi, Slow Mo, and Hyper Speed.

The feature, which Bubble Motion likens to Instagram for voice, may not be for everyone, but  it is likely to add another layer of appeal for users in Asia.

“We wanted to go deeper into voice and allow people to personalise it. The filters are a mix of fun and more serious, we’ll be adding a whole bunch more soon,” CMO Brett Bouchard, told us.

Bubbly has, to date, been almost entirely focused on Asia, where the most of its users are based. That’s to say that the 5-year old service only launched iPhone and Android apps this year, having previously been usable only via a shortcode system available in Asian markets via operator partners. Indeed, the company says that the bulk of its 19 million users still use the shortcode service.

Bubbly 2.0 is available worldwide with the voice filters, if you’re curious to check them out. Although the new update has not yet made it over to Android, however.

➤ App Store | Google Play

Image via Shutterstock